About Chateau Pontet-Canet 2012 Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac
Designated a Fifth Growth in the 1855 Classification, Pontet-Canet has exceeded that classification for many years now and is considered one of the top wines of Bordeaux. Of the 120 hectares (300 acres) With 200 acres under vine, the estate of Pontet-Canet is located in the northern end of the Pauillac commune, across the road from first growth Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The soil composition is mainly gravel over a subsoil of clay and limestone. The grape variety distribution is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Vines average 35 years of age. Harvesting is done by hand, and after sorting the grapes are moved into the estate's gravity-feed cellars for crushing. Fermentation takes place in a mixture of concrete and stainless-steel vats. Wines are aged for 16-20 months in up to 60% new oak barrels before fining with egg whites and bottling.
Owner Alfred Tesseron and his team, led by Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet’s estate manager since 1989, have completely transformed both the vineyard and the identity of Chateau Pontet-Canet. Leaving behind conventional vinegrowing techniques in order to embrace organic and biodynamic methods, they have allowed the terroir to reclaim its origins.
The Chateau received certification* in 2010 and this 2012 is organic and biodynamic. A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot and is ready to enjoy right now.
The Wine Advocate scored this 93 points saying "Deep garnet in color, the 2012 Pontet-Canet gives up a profound earthy/savory nose, revealing notes of tilled soil, woodsmoke, mossy tree bark, fungi and bouquet garni with a core of raspberry preserves, boysenberries and dried cherries plus a hint of warm cassis. Medium-bodied, it has a firm grainy texture and a softly spoken, savory character in the mouth, finishing with lingering oolong tea and dried herbs notes."
James Suckling scored this 93 points saying "This shows incredible decadence and opulence for the vintage with dried meat, black berry, blueberries and hints of mushroom. Full body, very polished silky tannins and a chewy finish. Lots of richness for the vintage. Persistent palate. This was aged 35% in cement eggs for 12 months. Better in 2018."
Wine Enthusiast scored this 92 points saying "This tastes jammy and very fruity, with tannins that are totally enveloped by the rich texture. Plummy and comfortable, it’s all about ripe berries and currants. Smoky flavors come from the wood aging, and contrast with the Port-like lusciousness of the wine."
Wine Spectator scored this 92 points saying "Broad and fleshy, with an alluring feel to the layers of steeped plum, blackberry coulis and raspberry reduction notes, all gliding over ample but polished tannins. Loam, tobacco and warm stone accents stay in the background for now but add steady base notes to the finish. Packs in solid fruit for the vintage, with a commensurate tug of earth. Best from 2017 through 2025.
*The wines of Chateau Pontet-Canet obtained organic certification from Ecocert and biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2010 and from Demeter in 2014.